After coaching his Golden State Warriors to a new NBA record for regular season wins, Steve Kerr took home some hardware of his own. The league has named Kerr this year’s recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy for NBA Coach of the Year.
In just his second season with the franchise, Kerr has put together quite an impressive body of work. He followed up last season’s NBA championship by coaching the team to a new record for regular season wins and has the team in prime position to repeat as champs.
Kerr received 64 first-place votes from the voters this season and finished ahead of Portland’s Terry Stotts and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.
The Warriors went 73-9 during the regular season and started the season on a 24-0 march after winning the title the previous season.
The Warriors were expected to be a great team this season, which is why some might feel Stotts may have been more deserving of the award given he was working with four new starters. That said, going 73-9 even with a great team is a pretty remarkable feat and Kerr should be lauded for guiding the team to that record.
Coming off a championship run, Kerr was tasked with keeping his team grounded and focused on the long haul once again without allowing his players to get caught up in the headlines along the way. He did just that, and any coach could probably tell you this is no small feat, especially for a franchise not used to this type of winning attitude. Not to mention that he spent much of the first half of the season dealing with complications from back surgery and had to cede day-to-day coaching duties to assistant Luke Walton.
Kerr is the first Warriors coach to win the award since Don Nelson received the award in the 1991-92 season. He’s also the third coach in Warriors history to earn the honor, joining Nelson and Alex Hannum (1963-64).